Well, it’s been a week since Honey carted me off to the ER and I came home one organ lighter. Up until yesterday, the days were kind of hazy. I have an extremely low threshold for pain, and I’m a lightweight when it comes to meds. Mother was going to head home today, but last night I had a real breakdown and she stayed, saying that she knew it was too soon to leave. I was scared of the week ahead and knew I hadn’t made any progress in getting up and moving and trying to do anything for myself. I let myself be completely taken care of, which is a first. Ever. Even when I brought my babies home and she was here to help, I still did for myself and others. But this was entirely different.
So, knowing that I have her for a couple more days, I got up yesterday motivated to make progress. (Well, that and the fact that a sweet reader nurse gave me a little kick in the you-know-what that I should be walking further than to the kitchen for my best recovery.) I showered, put on real clothes and sat at the table like a human. I traded my heavy meds for ibuprofen and had a clear head…finally. My appetite came back a little too. Mother was heading out to run a few errands and I went with her. We picked up one thing in Michael’s and walked. It really wasn’t bad and it felt so good to be out of my house. We had a few things to get at Target and I ended up riding the rascal. And, she insisted that she needed to do something to my pots outside so I wrapped up our day walking through the garden center at Home Depot. She is bound and determined to return me to world of the living! The sweet reward at the end of our trip? An orange cream soda and sour gummy worms, of course!
I also wanted to say how relieved I am that Honey essentially threw me in the car to go to the ER. I was insisting that I had a stomach bug, even though all logic was saying otherwise. I actually looked up the symptoms of appendicitis when I started feeling bad and some of mine were similar, but not all. And, in my opinion, it’s hard to differentiate between the two. In hopes that it could possibly help someone else out there, these were my symptoms:
– cramping in belly all day – it started after my morning walk but was just a slight discomfort for most of the day
– loss of appetite – I really wasn’t hungry all day. I ate no breakfast other than coffee and choked down a few bites at lunch. I didn’t feel bad, I just wasn’t hungry. This was unusual.
– cramping sharpest on right side but I still felt it all over; don’t be fooled by things you read that say it will just be on the right side – this came on late afternoon into the early evening. This is the point when I knew something was up.
– nausea – I felt mildly nauseous in the afternoon, but not enough to think I might throw up
In the early evening, things dramatically changed over the course of just two hours:
– cramping became more intense; I still felt it all over, but it remained sharpest on the right side. Honestly, it hurt so much it was hard to really tell where it was coming from.
– nausea increased to the point where I did need to throw up
– vomiting – every time stood up I threw up; the difference from a stomach but was that there was absolutely NO relief even for one minute after throwing up
– hard to urinate – I felt like I needed to go, but had to really work to squeeze it out (sorry, tmi)
– felt constipated but couldn’t pass any gas and couldn’t make myself go; this was another thing that made it different from the typical stomach but
– very hard to talk – it was a real effort and felt exhausting
– low grade fever of 99.1
All in all, things progressed very quickly over the course of just ONE day. My best advice would be when in doubt, get yourself to the ER.
The ER doctor’s first look at me made him think appendix or kidney stones. A blood test confirmed my white blood cell count was high. A CT scan showed a very enlarged appendix. And, as for the rest of the week, I have sufficiently bored y’all with all those details already.
I have my follow up appointment later this week, but am trying to keep my expectations in check. Honey keeps reminding me that the surgeon said to give myself two good weeks to be really up and moving and not completely exhausted, and four to six weeks to return to my prior level of activity. That sounds like foreeevvvah….. I just told Mother that I can’t find my fit bit and she looked at me like I had three heads.
I can’t say this enough, but I am so grateful to have had Mother here with me this week. And for Honey taking care of everything for the littles. And for all the friends and neighbors that have brought dinners and flowers and treats. And for you, sweet readers, that have prayed and emailed and commented. I have felt more loved than ever this past week.